27 May 2013

Witnessing to a Blank Stare

The blank stare. It's the proverbial "deer caught in the headlights" look with which all are familiar. It is empty. It is not understanding. It does not hear. It does not see.
because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matt. 13:13b)
Presented with the glorious, saving news of the gospel, the man or woman who in that moment is not being drawn by the Holy Spirit to Christ often may respond with little more than this blank, empty, heartbreaking stare. We may weep. We may plead. We may cry out to the Lord on behalf of their soul, that He might soften what can only be perceived as a hard, calloused heart. We may remind, for the umpteenth time, that the owner of this blank stare is a sinner—but that Jesus Christ died for sinners. We may speak of repentance, and of the good news that Christ has done the work that man cannot. We may shout about forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. We may do all that we as faithful Christians are called to do for the lost (Luke 24:47) . . . but we cannot save the soul behind that blank stare.

Salvation is a work of God, and a work of God alone. If He has ordained that our attempts at proclaiming the Gospel will not stir life behind those eyes that do not see, then that is His prerogative. Those who come to Him will not be turned away (John 6:37) and those who are His will never be lost (John 6:39, 10:28). But no man can come unless He is drawn (John 6:44). All who believe will be saved (John 6:40), not by any work of their own, but by the perfect, complete work and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:13).

How, then, does one respond to the blank stare? Prayer and the Word. Prayer that God would heal those who are spiritually deaf and blind. And continual sharing of the truth—that Word which cuts to the quick (Heb. 4:12)—it is by the proclamation of this Word that men are saved. Perhaps then, in time, those deaf ears one day will hear and those blind eyes one day will see and the knee of the spiritually dead man will bow before the Lord in this life before he enters into the next.

Yet, it must be realized that some blank stares always will remain as such. Their ears will never discern and understand the things of God. Enslaved to their sin, their eyes will never see the light of the Truth. They will only be able to stumble their way along the darkness of the broad path, never able to locate the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13, 14). These men love their sin and they hate Him Who came to die for sinners.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (John 3:18–20)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10)
The Christian can rest knowing that it is not his duty to save souls. It is his duty, however, to proclaim without hesitation, pause or compromise the great salvation that is found in Christ alone. God alone knows whether He will send His Spirit to breathe spiritual and eternal life into a man and lead him in the Light through the narrow gate. But, oh, what a privilege to be used by God to proclaim the only Way to eternal life! Regardless of whether that proclamation is used by God to lead the sinner to repentance, faith and salvation, or whether it is used as another nail in the sinner's coffin of judgment, the Christian must be grateful that God would use him as a tool at all. And he must overflow with thankfulness that he is only a tool, and that the real work is left to the Master Craftsman, the sovereign God, the perfect Savior, the righteous judge.

Further Reading
Jesus Christ Is Coming Soon
When Heaven Is Forgotten
Even the Demons Believe


  1. Walking dead cannot find the way to life on their own.

    ~ Despeville

  2. Amen. I can only imagine the blank stare that Christians may have gotten from me, once upon a time. The truth is that until the Lord brings spiritual life, until He grants understanding of spiritual truth, the spiritually dead cannot respond. It's not that they just don't get it, it's that they are DEAD spiritually. They can no more respond to spiritual truth than a physically dead man can respond to a physical voice.

    It is so neat though that Paul tells us that the gospel is the POWER of God unto salvation in Romans 1. The word power in this verse is dunamis which is the word from which we get our English word dynamite. God's gospel is spiritual dynamite in a dead soul! It is powerful and effective. It never returns void. Keep sharing God's powerful word, Christians! Trust the powerful word to accomplish God's purposes!

  3. Erin, what a blessing this was to my heart.... thank you for the reminder of how we are to respond to the unbeliever. Will definitely be passing this on to others.

    And for all those deer who constantly visit our yard, the "deer in the headlight look" will now take on new meaning, and be another reminder to pray for family, friends, and those that the Lord brings across my path, who need Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

    Always in Christ,

  4. Yes, but if we feel no compassion for those who will die in their sins because God has passively left them in their perdition we need to examine ourselves...


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